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August 2017 Newsletter
Leading for Good Health


Now Accepting Funding Proposals 
Our annual Get Healthy SMC Community Implementation Funding RFP is out! We invite community partners, cities and schools working on building healthy, equitable communities in San Mateo County to apply by September 26. We will award up to $150,000 for place-based primary prevention and health equity projects that seek to advance health through policy or systems change. We look forward to continuing to build our partnerships to create healthy, equitable communities for all in San Mateo County! Applications are due September 26 before 5PM.

Using Mapping Software to Highlight Spatial Inequalities 
Our own community health planner, Heather Arata, and Corina Chung, epidemiologist, recently presented Health Policy and Planning Program’s ongoing research on public transportation access in San Mateo County and our Get Healthy Data Portal at the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) User Conference and received great reviews and additional analytical skills. ESRI is the company that makes Geographic Information System (GIS) software, which our team relies on to conduct spatial analysis of health equity issues. Visit our data portal to see our GIS work in action!

GHSMC Featured as a Best Practice in New National Resource
A new national resource for public health departments working to advance health equity was launched last month: With the support of a diverse advisory committee, including people from the National Association of City and County Health Departments, The California Endowment, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PolicyLink and more, Human Impact Partners identified 15 strategic practices for the practical advancement of health equity. Get Healthy San Mateo County was identified as a leader in the field and interviewed for the inclusion of two case studies. This is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about how health departments can put health equity principles into action.

Looking for Local Leadership
There is an opportunity for San Mateo County residents to help advance efforts for a healthy, equitable and sustainable San Mateo County. The Community Advocates Leadership Academy (CALA) trains people who are working locally to make an impact on health, environmental and social justice issues. Monthly classes start September 9, 2017. Space is limited so please sign-up today

Prepping and Putting Leadership into Action 
Recruitment has begun for the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI), a six-month program from January – June 2018 to train underrepresented communities to participate as civic leaders on boards and commissions. BCLI fellows come from low-income and communities of color and learn the basics of Roberts Rules and the Brown Act, as well complex frameworks of class and race to analyze land use, transit and housing rights and policies. BCLI fellows will be placed on boards and commissions and receive regular technical assistance. The application period is from September 6th to October 13th. For more information, contact Larisa Casillas at or 510-839-9510, ext. 319.

Items to include in this newsletter

Health by Numbers

Impact on Student Performance

According to the California Department of Education’s 2014-15 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, 68% of economically disadvantaged 11th graders met the standard reading proficiency standards compared to 81% of 11th graders overall in San Mateo County. Economically disadvantaged students are identified as students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch or neither of the student’s parents completed high school.

Staff Perspective Rosa Torpis

Developing Skills for the Future Workforce

We are currently recruiting two intern positions to join us part-time from November 2017 through May 2018. The Healthy Economy Intern will help our staff with researching and developing strategies to maximize opportunity for those facing economic barriers in San Mateo County. The Healthy Neighborhoods Intern will be researching and developing strategies to increase active transportation options for all San Mateo County residents. Application packets are due 9/8!


Alternatives for the San Mateo Downtown Area Plan

The planning of Downtown San Mateo continues to draw large crowds. On August 1st, the City hosted its third Taste and Talk Forum that focused on design. Two panelists, Amit Price Patel from SITELAB and Aaron Aknin, the Assistant City Manager of Redwood City, emphasized the need to plan for transit-oriented development with a good balance of retail, office space, cultural amenities, parks and affordable housing. We call these communities, healthy communities!


California Healthy Kids Survey in San Mateo County Schools

The California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) gathers important data regarding student health behaviors along with both risk and protective factors that contribute to student health. The data provides schools, youth serving organizations, and policy makers with valuable information regarding student physical and mental health, allowing them to make data-driven decisions. This year all 24 school districts in San Mateo County will be conducting the CHKS survey.


Transitional Kindergarten in California Increases Student Academic Gains

New research shows that California’s Transitional Kindergarten program has increased student academic achievement.  Schools began instituting the Transitional Kindergarten program in the 2012-13 school year when they changed the start date for Kindergarten students from December 1 to September 1. The study is another example of the important impact that early childhood education has on increasing student’s academic achievement. You can read the full report here.


Voice your Comments on the Assessment of Fair Housing

The Department of Housing (DOH) released a draft of the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) on August 1st for public comment. Comments are due by September 15th  to the Department of Housing: This assessment is an important housing document for our county as it is a federal requirement that strives to document challenges and barriers to accessing housing.


A Regional Approach to Economic Development

For the past year, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and multiple stakeholders have been working on drafting a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) that will enable the Bay Area to form its first regional Economic Development District (EDD). This regional strategy aims to develop an action plan to sustain the region’s economic growth while ensuring that this growth translates into a more equitable and sustainable economy for all residents in the Bay Area.